MARC Pugh’s second-half strike proved not enough to keep Cherries in this season’s FA Cup.

The club stalwart, on just his third major senior appearance of the season, struck home what proved to be a consolation goal as Cherries were beaten 3-1 at home by Brighton.

Goals from Seagulls trio Anthony Knockaert, Yves Bissouma and Florin Andone meant the Dorset club exited at the third-round stage for the third successive season.

Cherries gave a debut to on-loan Liverpool full-back Nathaniel Clyne, who arrived from Merseyside less than 24-hours previously.

Fellow new recruit Dominic Solanke, who had agreed a permanent deal from Liverpool on the same day, was ruled out through injury.

Just Steve Cook and Ryan Fraser were the only survivors from the 3-3 Premier League draw with Watford on Wednesday. Boss Eddie Howe made nine changes to his starting XI.

There was a first senior start for midfielder Kyle Taylor.

Described as “one to watch” by manager Howe in February, the youngster previously signed a six-year youth contract with Cherries as a 12-year-old and penned a first professional deal in July 2017.

Brighton made eight changes in total with only Shane Duffy, Dale Stephens and Jurgen Locadia keeping their spots from the Seagulls’ 2-2 draw at West Ham.

Cherries fashioned the first real chance of the contest after just eight minutes.

A neat short corner routine allowed Fraser to cross for Jack Simpson but the England under-21 international failed to keep down his header at goal.

Jordon Ibe, operating in a central attacking role for the hosts, then charged at the Brighton defence.

His strike from inside the box deflected to safety off Leon Balogun with the resulting corner headed over by Cook.

Ibe then looked to set off on the counter again before he was chopped to the ground by Stephens -the challenge earning the Seagulls midfielder a caution.

After an assured first 20 minutes in a Cherries shirt, Clyne then showed his intent to get forward.

His devilish cross was perfect for Fraser but having drifted centrally, the winger failed to make contact at the vital moment.

Cherries should have been ahead on 27 minutes when Ibe neatly spun away from his marker and surged towards goal.

After twisting and turning, the former Liverpool man’s shot was blocked by Duffy into the path of Mousset – the Frenchman blazed over with the goal at his mercy.

Four minutes later, Howe’s men were punished.

After Cook’s headed clearance fell to Locadia, the big Dutchman’s flick teed up Knockaert to drill through the legs of Cook into the bottom corner of the net.

And with 34 minutes on the clock, Brighton added a second.

After turning away from Surman, Mali international Bissouma found space to let fly from 30 yards out. His shot cannoned in off the post past Artur Boruc in the home goal.

Chris Hughton’s side then looked to make it three before the break.

Full-back Gaetan Bong got forward from left-back and swung in for Locadia. The powerful striker got ahead of Simpson and glanced the ball onto the far post.

Boss Howe made no hesitation in freshening things up from the bench at half-time.

David Brooks, who netted twice in the Premier League against Brighton last month, was introduced in place of youngster Taylor.

And despite a sluggish start to the second period, Cherries pulled a goal back on 55 minutes.

Surman played the ball into the feet of Pugh, whose clever first touch allowed him to rifle the ball past keeper Jason Steele into the bottom corner from the edge of the area.

The goal was Pugh’s first in a major senior competition since August 2017.

Back came Brighton in a bid to restore a two-goal advantage. Beram Kayal’s low drive fell narrowly wide of the target.

The Seagulls added a third four minutes past the hour mark. Knockaert’s corner to the back post was headed down by Duffy, allowing Romanian Andone to nod home from close range.

Brooks almost restored some spice to the cup tie with 10 minutes remaining. His vicious attempt at goal was beaten away by Steele before Pugh’s curling strike flew just wide of the top corner.

Cook's header was then palmed away by Steele in the closing moments.

Cherries (4-4-2): Boruc; Clyne, S Cook, Simpson, Rico (Daniels, 78); Fraser, Taylor (Brooks, h-t), Surman, Pugh; Ibe (Stanislas, 70), Mousset.

Unused subs: Ake, Butcher, Dobre, Travers (g/k).

Booked: Surman, S Cook.

Brighton: Steele; Bruno (Montoya, 86), Balogun, Duffy, Bong; Kayal, Stephens, Bissouma; Knockaert (Gyokeres, 90+1), Andone, Locadia (March, 74).

Unused subs: Murray, Propper, Burn.

Booked: Stephens.

Referee: Michael Oliver.